Triumph TR6 Buyer’s Guide

The Triumph TR6 is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive classic British roadsters. This sports car has muscular looks, a real chassis and a lovely dark growling six-cylinder in-line engine. Former Top Gear presenter James May called the TR6 'the blokiest bloke's car ever built'. Be warned, this car is only suitable for tough men and women. The type that doesn't mind driving through a rain shower with the top down and replaces the contact points on a pub's parking lot. For all others: the car also has a convertible top and drives a lot nicer after the installation of an electronic ignition.

 

Triumph TR6 as 'poor man's Austin Healey'?


Thanks to the high production numbers (almost 100,000 have been built between 1968 and 1976), a TR6 is an affordable alternative to the Austin-Healey. The Triumph TR6 is even partly responsible for the big Healey disappearing from the stage. In the late 1960s, British Motor Holdings (the parent company of Austin, MG and Jaguar) merged with Leyland Motors, of which Triumph was a subsidiary. The management felt it was necessary to downsize the range of sports cars, in order to prevent internal competition. At that time, the Austin-Healey was at the end of its development cycle and could no longer meet the stricter requirements of the North American market. In addition, British Leyland already had a recently renewed six-cylinder sports car: the TR6. Thus the brand Austin-Healey disappeared and the TR6 survived the new business strategy. In terms of character, the cars are quite similar: both rear-wheel drive two-seaters, with a six-cylinder in-line engine and a four-speed gearbox with optional overdrive. Yet a Healey in terms of experience is a lot rougher and more spartan than the TR6 with independent rear suspension and a somewhat tamer engine (in US spec, with 2 Stromberg carburettors). Those who do not have the budget for a Big Healey, however, have the best possible affordable alternative with a TR6.

Drive train of the TR6

The six cylinder engines are solid and reliable. If properly maintained, these Triumph engines account for about 100,000 miles before it is time for an overhaul. Thanks to the simple construction, such a rebuild is relatively easy to carry out. The cylinder sleeves are removable and can be supplied new as a set with new pistons and piston rings. Worn out engines can easily be recognized by low oil pressure, high oil consumption and mechanical noises that do not sound healthy.
Gearboxes and differentials have a long service life with normal use and regular maintenance (clean oil of the correct type). Here too, however, it will be time for a rebuild at a given moment. In our workshop we regularly overhaul separate gearboxes and differentials for the TR6 and other Triumph sports cars.
The original mechanical fuel pump's rubber membrane will eventually fail, due to age and / or the effects of ethanol in modern gasoline. Read our article about which petrol to use in a classic car for more advice on this topic. New petrol pumps and overhaul kits are available in our webshop. These are known to be ethanol-resistant.
Fortunately, the TR6 is an easy car to work on by yourself. Parts are widely available for relatively low prices. Small technical problems do not have to be an obstacle to the DIY mechanic. It is much more important to find a car with a healthy chassis and a rust-free body. More information about technical weaknesses of the TR6 can be found in this blog article.

Triumph TR6 body inspection

As far as bodywork and chassis are concerned, there are only two possibilities: either you buy a car that has already been restored, or you buy a restoration project. The proverbial 'fixer' that only needs paint is an illusion. Even the youngest TR6 is now more than 40 years old and after 4 decades there are simply too many areas that can and will give problems.
If your budget is not sufficient for a well-restored car, but you also do not want to start a body-off restoration: be warned. Many cars that have already been refurbished can be worse under layers of paint and underbody coating than a rusty-looking project car. Multi-layer paint jobs are a guarantee for trouble: cured synthetic paints can 'work' with more flexible layers above them. The result is miniscule cracks, under which moisture can creep and rust can arise.

The TR6's most common weak points are the sills, bottom of front and rear fenders and the floor boards. Rust can also appear in areas where mud and dirt accumulate: around the headlight edges, around the inside of the tail lights and at the top edge of the rear wing. The rear of the boot lid and the battery box are also well-known sensitive areas. The chassis is prone to rust on the crossmembers (mounting points of the rear suspension) and the cover plate of the X-cross in the centre. Replacement sections are readily available, at reasonable prices. Keep in mind that structural repair of rust damage can only be carried out properly on a completely dismantled car.


Interior

The Triumph TR6 has an attractive, typical British interior with a wooden dashboard and a nice collection of classical instruments. The interiors will already have been renovated on most cars, as the original carpet and vinyl does not have eternal life. The triplex wood dashboard panels are known to disintegrate over time. All parts for renovating the interior are available. Make sure that the materials match the original specifications; Cars with custom-made upholstery, an aftermarket steering wheel and / or a shiny walnut wood dashboard are less desirable in our view than cars with an original interior.


Triumph TR6 classic cars for sale

At Dandy Classics we usually have one or more Triumph TR6 cars available for sale. We are particularly specialized in the purchase and sale of unrestored project cars. Our current stock can be found on the collection page.

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(Nederlands) Remcilinder revisie MG en Triumph oldtimers

Sorry, this entry is only available in Dutch. For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

Een falend remsysteem is levensgevaarlijk. Vaak wordt er pas ingegrepen na APK afkeur, waarbij lekkage en/of ongelijk remmen aan het licht komen. Een goed onderhouden remsysteem voorkomt problemen. Hoog tijd dus om wat aandacht te besteden aan dit onderwerp.

Lekkende of vastzittende remcilinders worden veroorzaakt door vocht in de remvloeistof, wat op den duur leidt tot roestvorming. Ook komt het regelmatig voor dat de rubberen afdichtingen uitgedroogd zijn. Oude remslangen kunnen uitdrogen, of van binnen verstopt gaan zitten. Stalen remleidingen gaan na verloop van tijd roesten en kunnen bij een remrevisie beter preventief worden vervangen door koperen leidingen. Bij constatering van meer van deze problemen is het aan te bevelen om preventief te werk te gaan en het hele remsysteem te reviseren.

Voorkomen van problemen in het hydraulisch remsysteem

Voorkomen is beter dan genezen. In de revisie van het hydraulisch systeem gaat veel tijd zitten. Dit kan voorkomen worden door regelmatig de remvloeistof te vervangen. Remvloeistof is hygroscopisch, wat wil zeggen dat het vocht aantrekt. Dit vocht zorgt voor roestvorming aan de metalen onderdelen. Hoe vaak de remolie ververst moet worden is afhankelijk van gebruik en stalling. Regelmatig gebruik in combinatie met vaak vochtige stalling vraagt om jaarlijkse verversing. Bij droge stalling en wat meer recreatief gebruik (weekend en alleen mooi weer) is het voldoende om iedere 2 jaar te verversen. Combineer dit verversen altijd met een uitgebreide visuele inspectie en controleer op lekkage en droogtescheurtjes. Door de stofhoesjes voorzichtig op te lichten kan vaak al gezien worden of er sprake is van beginnende roestvorming.

 

Hoofdremcilinder reviseren

Een defecte hoofdremcilinder bouwt geen druk meer op, of doet dit pas na enkele keren pompen met het rempedaal. Lekkage is vaak al aan de buitenkant zichtbaar. Begin met het demonteren van de cilinder en inspecteer deze op inwendige roestvorming. Lichte oppervlakteroest is prima te verwijderen met uithonen (m.b.v. een hoonapparaat met slijpsteentjes). Diepgelegen putjes zijn met honen niet te verwijderen. Deze zullen ook na revisie blijvend leiden tot lekkage en drukverlies, waardoor de gehele hoofdremcilinder vervangen moet worden. Na het honen wordt de remcilinder weer opgebouwd met een nieuwe revisieset (rubber afdichtingen). Monteer de onderdelen altijd met speciale remcilinderpasta, die te koop is bij de automaterialenzaak.

Revisieset hoofdremcilinder MGA & TR3

Wielremcilinders reviseren

Revisie van de wielremcilinders start met demontage en visuele inspectie. Is de cilinderwand door roestvorming ingevreten dan is dit niet met honen op te lossen. Vervanging van de remcilinders is in dat geval de enige oplossing. Is de roest vooral oppervlakkig dan wordt de cilinderwand licht uitgehoond / gepolijst, totdat het oppervlak weer schoon en glad is.

Nieuwe wielremcilinders voor MGA

Koppelingscilinder reviseren

Het principe is vergelijkbaar met de revisie van de hoofdremcilinder. Vergeet ook de hulpkoppelingscilinder niet en controleer de slang op droogtescheurtjes. Bij twijfel altijd vervangen.

 

Zelf doen of uitbesteden?

Veel van onze klanten sleutelen graag zelf aan hun oldtimer. Onderdelen voor het remsysteem van Triumph en MG sportwagens (revisiesets, remcilinders, slangen, remblokken etc.) zijn nieuw te bestellen in onze webshop: http://www.dandyclassics.nl/

Natuurlijk kunnen wij in onze werkplaats ook al het nodige werk uitvoeren. Neem contact op voor het maken van een afspraak, met prijsindicatie vooraf.

 

Welke remvloeistof gebruiken in een oldtimer?

Ons advies: houd het bij een goede kwaliteit DOT 3 of DOT 4 en ververs minstens één keer per twee jaar. Overweegt u om DOT 5 te gebruiken? Lees dan eerst deze blogpost met onze ervaringen.

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Morgan +4 PK-97-05 flat rad

Original Dutch plates: 1952 Morgan Plus Four ‘Flat Rad’

A red Plus Four left the Morgan factory in Malvern Link on 17 March 1952, on its way to a journalist from Scheveningen in the Netherlands. The car caught the eye of a young petrol attendant, who closed a gentleman's agreement with the first owner. Should the Morgan ever be sold, he would be granted the first right to buy it. Years later, the gentlemen were able to finalise their agreement. The car changed hands for a substantial sum - at that time enough to buy a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing.

Morgan +4 PK-97-05 flat rad

In the 70's and 80's, the car was not spared. Thanks to a tuned Triumph TR3 engine, a leather belt was required to keep the bonnet in place through fast cornering. The sports car was used as a multi-purpose vehicle: during the day as a delivery van to get hay for the horses and at night as a doghouse. Eventually, the years started to take their toll and the car was sold as a restoration project.

 

Morgan Plus Four restoration

The first attempt to restore the car was not particularly successful. The car was bought back in boxes by the second owner, and sold the same week to the current caretaker. He restored the car in detail and re-installed the completely rebuilt original Vanguard engine. The Moggie grawls happily again and is regularly taken for a spin around the countryside.

Morgan +4 origineel NL kenteken Morgan Plus Four hondenhok Athlon Tour of the Century Morgan 1952

This car still has its Original Dutch blue plates, with linnen title, and is the only Morgan Plus Four 'flat rad' that has ever been sold new in the Netherlands.

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MGB aankooptips chroom rubber bumper

MGB buyer’s guide

The MGB is still widely regarded as the most popular british sports car. For a good reason, we think. The B combines elegant looks with good driving characteristics, reliability and serviceability. Thanks to its high production numbers, the MGB is still a very affordable classic car.

MGB aankooptips chroom rubber bumper MGB GT aankooptips

 

Which  MGB to buy?

With a production span of nearly 20 years, there are plenty of different versions available. Most distinctive are chrome/rubber bumper cars on one side, and roadsters / GT's on the other. Which car is most suitable really mostly depends on your personal preferences, expectations and budget. The most valuable are early pull door handle roadsters, especially with the desirable overdrive option. These have the most classic look, with their slated grille and metal dashboard. The early cars with their 3 bearing engines are more popular among purists, although the later 5 bearing engines offer improved durability. MGB GT's are generally more affordable than roadsters, although the gap is closing. The cheapest cars on the market are RHD rubber bumper project cars. Please bear in mind that the cheapest car will usually turn out to be the most expensive car in the long run. If you decide to take on a project, it would be wiser to invest in an earlier chrome bumper car.

 

Rubber bumper or chrome bumper?

This is mostly a matter of taste and budget. Personally, I think the rubber bumpers suit the B pretty well. They are part of automotive history and give the car a distinct seventies look. But there is more to it than looks alone. The rubber bumpers were introduced in 1974, to comply with the stricter US safety regulations. The impact-absorbing bumpers needed to be placed at a certain height, for which the MG engineers had to raise the car a couple of centimetres. Early rubber bumper cars have pretty bad handling, which was improved in 1976, when MG added a front anti-roll bar. Also, emission standards got stricter and stricter, forcing British Leyland to fit the outdated B-series engine with power-consuming emission equipment. Exhaust fumes were pumped back into the inlet manifold, leading to less polution and less power. While early MGB engines offer as much as 96 hp, the latest versions are closer to 80 hp. These engines also have smaller valves and lower compression. Removing the emission equipment improves power, but more significant increases are realised by replacing the single Stromberg for a double S.U. or single Weber setup. The rubber bumper cars can be converted to chrome bumper, but this is not very easy, as it involves cutting, welding and (at least partial) refinishing.

 

Body inspection

Most important on your buying inspection is the condition of the unibody structure. Especially the sills are prone to rust, causing a loss of structural integrity on roadsters especially. Be aware of signs of body filler, polyester, bad welding and high paint film thickness. Also don't forget to check the inner sills. Other weak areas are the front box section where the front wings are mounted. Front and rear fenders get crunchy at the lower parts, behind the front wheels and before the rear wheels. Roadsters in particular can get rusty floor boards, but replacement panels are inexpensive. Also, the rear wheel arches can be affected by tin worms.

Most MGB's will have had a respray at least once. This is not particularly bad, as long as you are aware that a shiny paint job can hide a lot of misery. Pay close attention to seams, panel fit and, if possible, use a digital film thickness gauge. A magnet can also reveal hidden areas with lots of body filler.

 

Technical inspection

MGB's in general have sturdy mechanics and are easy to work on. Focus on the mechanical condition of engine, gearbox and differential, as all the rest is relatively easy and inexpensive to fix. Check the oil pressure on a cold and warm engine, be alert of mechanical noises (the pushrod engines can make a bit of tappet noise, which is unharmful) and if possible, check the compression. Although MGB gearboxes tend to be durable, they are likely to need a rebuild after 40 years of use and abuse. Check for rattling sychromeshes and noisy bearings. Service and wear parts are readily available and can be ordered directly in our webshop.

 

MGB restoration

These classics are relatively easy to restore by a skillful and persistent amateur. Mechanics are simple and straightforward and parts are easy to source and affordable. By definition, a restoration involves the complete strip down of a car, building it up with replacing or restoring every single part. The biggest challenge of a restoration is often the unibody structure. As most, if not all, panels can be bought, even the most rusty B can be brought back to as new condition.

 

MGB's for sale at Dandy Classics

We always have a number of MGB's in stock. Project cars, as well as good quality drivers. Take a look at our collection to see our actual stock.

 

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MGA frame restoration

MG MGA chassis frame restoration

MG MGA 1600 roadster

 

Having started the restoration of our 1960 MGA 1600 roadster, the first step is in restoring the MGA chassis frame. This was quite the challenge, as the chassis had suffered from severe corrosion, and various attempts to keep the rusting metal together. With a methodical approach and some perseverence, we saved this chassis from the scrapheap and turned it back to as-new condition.

 

Step 1: chassis preparation

As this car had already been disassembled by the previous owner, it only required a couple of bolts to be removed. No surprise they had been stuck, after almost 60 years. WD40 and some heat solved the problem. Next, we welded an X-cross in place, using leftover pieces of square steel tubing. This serves to keep the structural integrity of the frame intact, before removing large sections of the side rails. Of course, before doing all this, we made sure that the frame's dimensions were still intact. Luckily, there was no sign of bending or collision damage.

MGA chassis frame restoration 

With the strengthening tubes now in place, sections of the frame side rails and the rotten round tube at the rear were cut out. This would allow us to actually clean out the inside of the chassis, as far as we could. Imagine a rusty piece of metal that is only shot blasted on one side - there will be a risk of further corrosion from the inside, especially when the inside metal is full of rust flakes.

 

Step 2: shot blasting

Everything now neatly prepared, it was time to get the MG chassis back to bare and clean metal. As we suspected, a lot of rust flakes came out of the inside of the side rails. All small bits and pieces belonging to the MGA frame were cleaned as one batch. Shortly after the media blasting, we applied a thin coat of red oxide primer (weld-through primer), to prevent the surface from rusting any time soon.

Chassis rear tube MGA 1600 MGA chassis media blasting

 

Step 3: welding the MGA chassis

MGA frame restorationTime to turn the solid bits of metal back to a structurally strong MG chassis. We started by removing the square crossmembers and side rails (one side at the time, as to prevent the frame from bending). The crossmembers were fabricated in-house. For the side rails, we used reproduction repair pieces, and made the non-available sections ourselves. The round tube at the rear of the frame was replaced from side to side, including repair work to the end of the side rails. The front round tube had been severely dented, as this is actually the lowest part of an MGA chassis. This was resolved by installing an air valve and slowly heating up the tube, while putting the inside under pressure. Finally, new floorboard rails were welded in place.

MGA chassis beam repair MGA chassis frame restoration welding MGA cross tube repair

Step 4: preparation and paint

After grinding out the welds, it was time to prepare the chassis for the paint shop. Everything was sanded by hand and thoroughly cleaned. Next, it was sprayed in a protective 2K epoxy primer, after which some of the seams were sealed. Finally, the frame received a shiny new layer of 2K black paint, with a gloss finish.

MGA chassis epoxy primer chassis black paint MG A

 

Looking for a project car to restore?

Classic cars for sale project car

Dandy Classics offers a collection of barn find british sports cars for restoration: MG, Triumph, Jaguar and other makes. Many of our customers enjoy the process of completely restoring their own dream car, slowly bringing it back to perfect condition. Are you considering to embark on an epic restoration project by yourself? Take a look at our collection of classic cars for sale.

 

 

Parts for your MGA

MG Triumph parts shop

Spare parts for your MG and Triumph sports car can be ordered directly in our webshop. We have our own stock of service parts and offer fast and cost-efficient international shipping. Go to our webshop or contact us with your parts requirements.

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